Statement from Kirkland City Manager on “Keep Kids Safe” Lawsuit
Published on April 01, 2022
Communications Program Manager
KIRKLAND, Wash. – The City of Kirkland was informed by media contacts on Thursday, March 31 of a press release regarding a lawsuit filed in Snohomish County by the organization “Keep Kids Safe” against the City and King County. The press release alleges a lack of transparency around the selection and purchase of La Quinta Inn as a permanent supportive housing facility under the King County Health Through Housing program. The attorney for the plaintiff has now shared a copy of the complaint, but the City has not yet been served. The City is now reviewing the complaint and therefore has no comments on the allegations at this time. Because there is now active litigation, Kirkland City Councilmembers will not be responding individually to requests for comments.
The City of Kirkland is confident that all state and local laws have been followed in connection with the proposed permanent supportive housing project at the La Quinta Inn site.
The terms of purchase and timing of the La Quinta Inn property were negotiated exclusively by King County and a third-party property owner.
Chronic homelessness is a societal problem that includes Kirkland. We are confident our community can help respond to this urgent problem while also protecting the public health, safety, and welfare, particularly with respect to our children attending nearby schools. The City has always made it clear that any City approval of this permanent supportive housing project will depend on binding agreements approved by the City Council which address these important health, safety, and welfare needs in binding and enforceable ways. For this reason, the Council adopted Resolution R-5522 on March 1, 2022, which sets terms and conditions necessary to maintain City support of La Quinta Inn as a King County Health Through Housing site, including review of a safety plan by the Kirkland Police Department. Resolution R-5522 and the terms and conditions were created in direct response to the numerous public comments the city has received through virtual stakeholder meetings, emails, phone calls and testimony at City Council meetings. Additional robust public outreach will be undertaken by the City starting in May that will help ensure that community concerns are addressed in these future agreements.
For comprehensive information on Resolution R-5522, the County’s process to select La Quinta, the City’s role in that process and the process moving forward, please visit the City's website.